Al-Maidah · Juz 6 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Ma’idah Ayah 35

Commanding Taqwa, Waseelah and Jihad

In the previous ayaat, we studied the prescribed punishments for plundering, killing innocent people and spreading mischief on the land. Now, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is reminding us of taqwa, obedience and His worship, inducement of Jihad as well as the effects of disbelief, rejection,  obstinacy and disobedience.

This style of the Qur’an reveals that its approach is not to state penalties coldly or as a coercive command. Instead, it takes the approach of an affectionate nourisher and nurturer. By awakening the human mind to the fear of Allah and realities of the akhirah, it makes the everlasting blessing and bliss of Jannah appear almost in sight. This replaces the hearts from their chronic taste for crime with instant distaste.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

يَـَأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَيهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ وَجَـهِدُواْ فِى سَبِيلِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and seek the Waseelah to Him, and strive hard in His cause, so that you may be successful.”

Fear of Allah alone can really stop human beings from committing crimes openly and secretly.

The word waseelah is from the word waslun which means to make effort to become close to someone.  or seeking nearness of Allah

Sufyan Ath-Thawri said that Talhah said that Ata said that Ibn Abbas said that Waseelah means ‘the means of approach’. Mujahid, Abu Wa’il, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Abdullah bin Kathir, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others gave the same meaning for Waseelah. Qatadah said that the Ayah means, “Seek the means of approach to Him by obeying Him and performing the acts that please Him.”

The ask of seeking to gain access to Allah is anything which brings a servant of Allah nearer to his or her sole object of worship with all longing and love. Therefore, the righteous elders, the Sahabah and Tabi’een have explained the word waseelah to mean obedience, nearness, faith and righteous conduct.

Bukhari recorded that Jabir ibn Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,

مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يَسْمَعُ النِّدَاءَ: اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ هذِهِ الدَّعْوَةِ التَّامَّةِ، وَالصَّلَاةِ الْقَائِمَةِ، آتِ مُحَمَّدًا الْوَسِيلَةَ وَالْفَضِيلَةَ، وَابْعَثْهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا الَّذِي وَعَدْتَهُ،إِلَّا حَلَّتْ لَهُ الشَّفَاعَةُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

“Whoever, after hearing to the Athaan says, ‘O Allah! Lord of this perfect call and of the regular prayer which is going to be established! Grant Muhammad the Waseelah and superiority and send him on the Day of Judgment to the praiseworthy station which You have promised him,’ then intercession from me will be permitted for him on the Day of Resurrection.”

[What is Said After Hearing the Athaan]

Muslim recorded that Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As said that he heard the Prophet saying,

إِذَا سَمِعْتُمُ الْمُؤَذِّنَ فَقُولُوا مِثْلَ مَا يَقُولُ، ثُمَّ صَلُّوا عَلَيَّ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ صَلَاةً صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرًا، ثُمَّ سَلُوا لِيَ الْوَسِيلَةَ، فَإِنَّهَا مَنْزِلَةٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ لَا تَنْبَغِي إِلَّا لِعَبْدٍ مِنْ عِبَادِ اللهِ، وَأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَنَا هُوَ، فَمَنْ سَأَلَ لِيَ الْوَسِيلَةَ حَلَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الشَّفَاعَة

“When you hear the Mu’adhdhin, repeat what he says, and then ask for Salah (blessing, mercy from Allah) for me. Verily, whoever asks for Salah for me, then Allah will grant ten Salah to him. Then, ask for the Waseelah for me, for it is a grade in Paradise that only one servant of Allah deserves, and I hope that I am that servant. Verily, whoever asks (Allah) for Waseelah for me, he will earn the right of my intercession.”

After Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded Muslims to avoid the prohibitions and to work towards obedience, He commanded them to fight against their enemies, the disbelievers and idolators who have deviated from the straight path and abandoned the correct religion.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala encouraged the believers by reminding them of the unending success and great happiness that He prepared for them for the Day of Resurrection, which will never change or decrease for those who join Jihad in His cause. They will remain in the lofty rooms of Paradise that are safe and beautiful. Those who live in these dwellings will always be comfortable and will never be miserable, living, never dying, and their clothes will never grow thin, nor will their youth ever end.


– Emaan necessitates that a person has taqwa.

– We learn about the obligation of performing such deeds through which a person can get closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It’s not a choice that if we “want” to get closer to Allah we should do this. Rather it is an obligation upon us to do such deeds which can bring us closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. For example, doing dhikr, voluntary fasting and prayers along with the faraid. If we have a strong relationship with Allah subhanahau wa ta’ala only then we will be able to do that which pleases Him and refrain from that which angers Him. Ultimately, through this we will attain the success in the akhirah.[in sha Allah]

[25 Tips for Getting Closer to Allah]

When we love someone or seek their attention, we take every step that we can in order to please them whether that’s a spouse, our parents or our friends. But what about Allah? We are living on His earth. We are eating the food that He gave us. We are able to wear clean clothes and retain a stable job because of Him. So shouldn’t He deserve our love more than human beings who cannot provide us anything? Shouldn’t we then strive to come closer to Allah and please Him as an expression of our gratitude? Waseelah is not an option, but obligatory upon everyone.

[Believers Love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala the Most]

– Some people say waseelah means trying to get hold of a person who will take us to a Jannah. For example, a saint or a scholar. People who worship graves believe that by singing praises for the dead saint we will get into Jannah. They are dependent on the dead saint or other people to take them to Jannah. This contradicts with the teachings of the Qur’an. When Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is teaching us tawakkal then why would He expect us to depend on a person? Saying that a person will take us to Jannah is what the Mushrikeen [idolaters] used to say. We read in Surah az-Zumar ayah 3, “We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position.”

[Fear a Day When No Soul will Help Another]

The only thing that can bring us closer to Allah is our actions and deeds.

– There are several deeds that a person can perform to come closer to Allah but the number one thing that draws a person closer to Allah is the performance of the faraid [the obligatory deeds] and then the nawafil [the voluntary deeds]. Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said, “Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, ‘My servant doesn’t come closer to me with anything more dear to Me than what I have made obligatory. My servant keeps coming closer to me with more voluntary deeds until I love him…..’

Therefore, become steadfast in the 5 obligatory prayers, giving Zakah every year, fasting throughout Ramadan, and other obligatory deeds.

– Actions that can bring us closer to Allah along with the faraid include: recitation of Qur’an [dedicating some time “every day” to read some part of the Qur’an] and reciting the morning and evening adkhar. These actions remind us of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala every day.


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